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About The North Platte semi-weekly tribune. (North Platte, Neb.) 1895-1922 | View Entire Issue (June 20, 1916)
THE GEMI-WEEKLY TRIBUNE, NORTH PLATTE, NEBRASKA,
Peter Knight, defeated for' political of
fice In his town, decided to venture New
"York In order Hint the family fortunes
fright benefit by tho expected rise of his
charming daughter, Ijorelel. A well
known critic Interviews ljorrt Knight,
ow stage beauty with tlorgmun's Ilevue,
for a xpeclal article, Hoi' coin-hunting
mother outlines Lorelei's ninbltlnrts, but
HloxRon, tho press agent, later adds his
Information. Lorolel attends Millionaire
Ilninfflnn'n gorgeous entertainment. She
meets Merkle, a wealthy dynneptlo. Hub
AVharton comes uninvited. Lorelei dis
covers a blackmail plot against Mammon
In which her brother Is Involved
J A few years ago New York
city the whole country In fact
S was deeply stirred by a series of
$ sensational murders and a con
? sequent shaking up In the police
5 department. For one of these
murders four gunmen and a po
lice officer went to the electric
chair. Here is related the do
tails of the kind of dirty work
some of the gangsters and their
political friends accomplish In
CHAPTER VI Continued.
Tho Judge had enjoyed the scene.
Up chuckled; he clicked his loose front
teotli like castnuets. Hob turned at
the Bound and regarded him with bo
nlgnnnt Interest, his attention riveted
upon the old man's dentnl Infirmity.
"You're qulto n comedian," Itogan
"Click 'cm again," said Rob, pleas
antly. "Wonderful! Age has Its com
pensations. Play 'Ilome, Sweet Home'
"When you get 'em tuned up. Or per
haps they aro for sale?"
Lorelei secured her number mid was
Ntirprlscd to recognize hor brother's
olee. Sho made herself known, to
Jim's equal nmnzement, and then In
quired: "Is Max there?"
"Sure. He's outsldo ln the automo
bile." "Call him, pleaso."
"What do you want of him? How'd
you know I waB here?"
"Nover mind. Call him quickly,"
At last Mclchor'fl voice cnino over
tho w!r6. nnd Lorelei recited tho mes
sage, There was n inomont of silence,
then sho explained how she camq to
do talking instead of Lllas.
Ho thanked hor, and sho heard him
piutterlng as ho hung Up, Kho turned
0 find her nnnoyer nodding with sat-;
"Splendid! I tha;tk you; my father
thanks you; my family thanks you.
INow whero would you llko to dine?"
"now can (i person got rlrt of you?"
she Inquired sillily.
"I'm sure I don't know it Isn't bo
in rtone. Rut I'll try to think. Wear
your prettiest gown, won't you? for,
Jt Intend to enrngo all tho other fel
lows." She turned with ti shrug of mingled
annoyance nnd amusement, nnd ho
tailed after hor:
"Tho Judgo's teeth will cnte.rlalil
no till you come. I'll bo waiting."
t Miss Lynn,' as she dressed after tho
performance, Cuts stlfi In an evil torn
3r; but sho thanked her roomtnato for
.aiding her; then, ns If somo explana
tion wore duo, sho added, "That note
ras from Jnrvls."
"You puzzlo me, Lllas," LoreTol told
;lacr, slowly, "I don't think you care
for him nt all."
I Lllaa laughed. "Why do you think
tint? I adorn him, but we had an en
KHgement and be broke It. Men are
iU Belflsh; Uie bigger they are the
tnore selfish they become. They never
do anything you don't muko them."
"no enn't sacrifice his business for
"Sacrlflccl U'h women who uiterl- j
flee themselves. D'yon suppose any of .
those men we met lust night would
mcrlflco himself for anything or any
tiody? Not much. They are (he
strong nnd the mighty. They got rich
through robbery, and they're in the
Habit of inking whatuver Ihey want,
tehey mud thrlr money out of tho
blood and Mirroring of thousands of
poor people. That's what It Is blood
"Is that why you'ro planning to
blackmail It oht of him?"
Lilas paused In her dressing and
turned slowly, brows lifted, Hor
dark eyes met tho blue ones unwaver
ingly. "Rhuckmnll? What are you talking
about?" Mrs. Croft went pule, und
retired swiftly but noiselessly Into tho
jtavatory, closing the door behind her.
"What did Max toll you over the
'phono?" asked Lllas, sharply,
"Then wiiero did you irelthat?
"Jlm'B pretty bad, 1 Imagine, but
bo keeps his badness to himself. No.
J've ovorhenrd you nnd Max talking."
"Nonnento, We've never mentioned
pitch a thing. The lilcu Is absurd. I
Set mad nt Jarvls bo's enough to
Hidden nuy'body porhnps I'm Jealous,
Jnit blackiDutll Why, you'ro out of
Lvreltd delayed her toilet purposely,
and finally dismissed Croft. When
quiet had finally descended aim opened
her door cautiously ami peered out.
Hobert Wharton sat on the top step
of tho stairway near at hand, but his
head rested against the wall, and he
slept. Reside him were his high hat.
his gloves and Us stick. As Lorelei,
with skirts carerully gathered, tiptoed
past him she saw suspended upon his
gleaming white shirt bosom what nt
Hrst glance resembled n foreign deco
ration of some sort, but proved to be
Mr. Regan's false teeth. They were
suspended by a. ribbon that had onco
done duty In tho costume of it cory
phee; they rose and fell to tho young
man's gentle breathing.
Lorelei telephoned to Merklo on tho
following day, and about tho close of
tho show that night his card was '
orougnt up 10 ner dressing room, a ;
moment later Robert Wharton's fol-'
lowed, together with n tremendous box
of long-stemmed roses. Sho went down
a trifle apprehensively, for by this
tlmo the current talcs of Rob's drunken
freaks had given her cause to think
somewhat seriously, nnd sho fenred an
unpleasant encounter. More than onco
she had witnessed qunrrels In the al
leyway behind the Circuit, whero pes
tiferous youths of Wharton's caliber
were frequent visitors.
Rut Mr. Merklo relieved hor mind by
saying, "I sent Rob nwny on a pre
text, although he tworo you had nn
engagement with Iilm."
"I'm glad you dfd. I left him asleep
outside my dressing room last night,
nnd I almost Import ho'd caught pneu
monia." Reside the curb a heavy touring car
wns purring, nnJ Into this Merkle
helped his companion. "I'm not up on
tho ctlquctto of tills sort of thing," he
oxplalued, "but I presume tho proper
procedure Is sujipcr. Where shall It
Lorelei laughed. "You nro Inexpe
rienced. Tho Johns never cat op. Fifth
avenue, tho lights nro too dim. Rut
why supper? You can't eat."
"A Welsh rabbit would bo the death
of mo; lobsters aro poison," he con
fessed; "but I've read that chorus
girls aro omnivorous animals and seek
their prey at midnight."
"Most of them would prefer bread
nnd milk; anyhow, I would. Rut I'm
not hungry, so lot's ride wo can talk
hotter, and you're not thu sort of man
to bo seen ln public with one of Rerg-
,M"! 8 -gh-ls."
Tho banker acquiesced with nlncrlty.
To his driver ho said, "Ttiko tho Long
Tho machlno glided Into nolsoloss
"Why do you chooso tho Long Island
road?" asked Lorelei.
"It's pleasant, responded Merklo.
"I rldo nearly overy night, nnd I llko
tho country. You see, I can't sleep
unloss I'm ln motion. I got most of
my rest ln a car: there's something
nbout tho movement that soothes mo."
"Peculiar, parhaps, but scarcely hu
morous. I'd ho dead or Insane with-
"I'm Terribly Sorry, Miss Knight."
out an automobile. I keep four
French cars In my garage, all specially
built as to spring suspension and up
holstery, and 1 spend nearly every
night ln ono or tho other of thorn. So
long na I'm moving fust I uiauago to
snatch n mlsernblo sort of repose, but
tho Instant wo go slow I wako up. I
used to sleep at twenty miles an hour;
now I can't relax under thirty.
Forty Is Hue sixty means dreamless
"It does, indeed, if ono happens to
ImVQ 11 blowout," laughed tho girl.
Tho car wus now darting through
unfrequented sldo streets, where the
' pifill! II
Zmiiii t II ,1
I nir,ri!.fc lay !r. the sndo-ms llko dnrk
pools. Up Iho npprouch to the Queens-
boroiiffli bridge It swept, nnd look tho
long Incline llko n soaring bird. Rlnck-
well's Island Hllppert under them, nn
Inky, bottomless pit of despair. The
mmm 01 uie ovcnicaica city ennngoti .
as by magic, and the thln-fnecd suf
feror at Lorelei's side drank It ln ea
gerly. Even In tho dim flash of tho
passing Illuminations sho noted how
tired nnd worn lie was, and a sudden
pity stnoto her.
"Won't you pretend I'm not 'here,
nnd drive Just as you always do? I
won't mind," sho said.
"My dear, It's late. You'll need to
1 go home."
"Heally?" His eagerness was genu
ine. "Won't your people worry?"
Her answer was a short, mirthless
laugh that made htm glance nt her cu
riously. "They know I'm perfectly
safe. It's Iho other way round: a man
of your standing takes chances by be
ing nlone with n womnn of mine."
"Which reminds mo of Miss Lynn
nnd Mr. Ilnmmon, You've decided to
accept my offer?"
"No. I can't be n hired spy."
"You suld over the 'phono that you
bad learned something."
"I have. I believe there Is nn effort
oti foot to got some of Mr. Ilninmon's
money dishonestly. T have n reason
for wishing to prevent It."
"I know f wasn't mistaken ln you,"
smiled Mcrklc. ,
"Oh, don't nttrlbuto my notions to
any high moral motives! I'm getting
,, nttle rusty on right nnd wrong. Pcr-
sonally, I have no sympathy with Mr.
iinminon. nnd I don't Imne-lnn b.. hp.
quired nil of his tremendous fortune
In n perfectly honorable way. Resides,
hn'a n married man."
"It Isn't alono Jnrvls or his family
or their money that is concerned."
Merklo said, gravely. "Great financial
Institutions sometimes rest on founda
tions ns slight ns one man's person
ality ono man's reputation for moral
Integrity. A breath of suspicion of
any sort nt tho wrong tfrao may bring
on a crash Involving Innocent people.
"Hnmmon nt this moment carries n
tremendous top-heavy burden of re
sponsibilities; his death would be no
more disastrous than a scandal that
would tend to destroy public confi
dence ln him ns n man."
"Doesn't he know that himself?"
"Perhnps. ,Uut his Infatuation over;
took him nt an age when a man Is n
fool. Young men nro always objects
of suspicion In tho financial world, for !
their emotions aro unruly; but when
old men fnlj In lovo they nre superbly
heedless of tite consequences. I prom
ised to toll you something about Jar-
vis, nnd I will, slnco you spoke of his
married life. From tho time ho could
wnlk ho never knew anything, never
heard anything except steel, ne be
came n rolling-mill superintendent nl
most before he was of nge. They sny
ho never did less than two men's work,
and often more; but ho could make
others work, too, and there Joy the se
cret of his success. His mill held the 1
tonnngo record for years.
"When tho corporation was formed
bo played a big part in the deal nnd I
got a blit slice of tho . profits. He j
wont Into other things than steel, nnd j
ho prospered. Ho hover failed at any-1
thing, Jnrvls had no vices nnd but
ono hobby nt least his vices were neu
tral, for ho had never taken time to
ncqulro tho positive kind. Ills hobby
was Napoleon Ronaparte. no read ev
erything there wns to rend about Na
poleon; ho studied his life and pat
terned his own on slmllnr lines. Do
I boro you, Miss Knight?"
"No; go on. I'm tremendously in
terested." "Well, naturally, Hammou began to
consider himself nnother Nnpoleon,
and his accomplishments were In a
way qulto ns wonderful. He even con
tided to mo onco that his idol sur
passed him In only ono respqet
! namely, tho power to relax. Jarvls
had never taken time for relaxation,
nnd ho wns beginning to wear out; and
so ho deliberately set about learning
to play. Tho omperor of France, so
history tells us, took ht grentest plena
uro in tho company of Avonien; there
fore Hnmmon sought women. Ho
doesn't know the tasto of defeat, bo
tho result was foreordained."
"Rut surely ho thought something
of his fnmlly," protested Lorelei.
"Didn't he consider them?"
"I fancy ho wasn't well acquainted
with his family. I'm sure ho nover en-
Joyed any home life, ns wo underhand
It. Ho lived with n rich old w.oman
who bore his niimo but scarcely know
hrm; his uu.;Uter8 Avero urown wouwu
whom ho saw on raro occasions nnd
whose extruvngnnt whims ho grntltled
Without question. Rut there was little
real Intimacy, little sympathy. This
wns his llrst taste of youth, Rut ho
was not Nnpoleon. As you've noticed,
bo's qulto mnd on the Lynn woman.
He's no longer himself. Ho has been
drugged by her charms, and now bo's
paying tho price. I wanted you to
know the story beforo Ave went nny
further. Now tell mo what you havo
Ry tho tlmo Lorelei had completed
hor recltnl of thoso occurrences that
had excited her auspicious tho car avus
rolling out tho roads leading toward
tho Long Islnnd plains, nnd, with head
lights nblnze, Avas defying nil speed
laws. Merkle had drawn tho conver
sation shield rearward, nnd In Its shel
ter leaned back Avlth oyes closed. He
seemed asleep, but after a time ho
"Meleher is n shrewd man. Ho
wouldn't tacklo n blackmailing Job of
this bIzo without protection; otherwise
I could put hlni out of Iho Avny very
quickly. I dnre Bay Mlsa Lyuu, het
Isolf doesn't know who Is behind htm."
',y ,i0n't you warn Mr. tlnmtnim
Mcrklc rolled lilu heart loosely. "You
don't know the man. rio would laugh
nt tho Idea of n plot ngalnst him."
Mcrklc dozed acaln. half burled In
the cushions. They had passed Jamai
ca, but It was not until It had swept
Into the Motor pnrkway that the
chauffeur let the machlno out. Over
the deserted plains It tore, cometllko,
a meteor preceded by n streamer of
light. Tho causeway leaped Into view
nnd vanished beneath the wheels, like
n tremendous ribbon whirling upon
spools. Merklo lay back Inertly, lolling
and swaying to tho side-thrust of tho
cushions, but Lorelei fouud her fists
clinched and her muscles hnrd with
the nervous stralu. Finally she pushed
the shield forward, nnd, leaning over
tho front scat, stared at the tiny dnsh
llght. Tho finger of tho speedometer
oscillated gently over tho figure "f0,"
and she dropped back with a gasp.
They had been running thus for n long
Merklo roused to say, "Is this too
fast for you. Miss Knight?"
Sho laughed nervously. "N-no, I'm
sorry I woko.you."
Merklo inquired the time of his
chauffeur, then directed him to turn
homeward along the North shore.
"I Bhnn't bo selfish nnd keep you
out any longer, Miss Knight." ho said.
"If you don't mind, I'll doze on the
way ln, and try to figure out the next
move In this Hnmmon affair."
The return trip was another hurtling
rush through tho night, ln a silence
broken only by Merkle's demand for
more speed whenever the machine
slackened Its labor. The miles wheeled
past; the Sound lay to the right.
They were sweeping over n rolling'
W.tl, 1 I -... ...
iwmi duuii! iimii niiun Hiiuuuiny ouc ot
blackness ahead blazed two blinding
headlights. With startling abruptness
they appeared over the crest of a rise;
Merkle's driver swung to the right.
The Btrnnge car held to Its course:
there was a blast of horns, a .dnzzllng
Instant of Intense Illumination, .then
a crash ns the inside mud-gunrds met.
Merkle's car seemed to leap Into the
nlr; there was n report of an exploding
tire; tho automobile wns bucking nnd
bumping, ns If the pavement had been
turned Into a corduroy rond; then It
camo to a pause, half ln tho ditch.
The other car held to Its course, and
whizzed onward, leaving In Its wake
a drunken shout of mockery and defi
ance. "Narrow shave, that. I wonder we
weren't all killed." Merklo eyed tho
car's crumpled mud-guard and running
board, then directed his driver to as
certain tho extent of the damage. The
motor wns still throbbing, but a brief
examination disclosed a broken steer
ing knuckle and a bcrit nxle In addi
tion to an, injured wheel.
"I'm terribly sorry Miss Knight; but
I'll have to send for another car," apol
"Is this splendid machine ruined?"
Ho shrugged. "Thnt's the curse of
these ronds. Somebody Is alwavs drlv-
lug recklessly. Lorelei smiled nt
memory of tho miles they had covered
so swiftly; but she saw that he was
serious and In a sour temper. "One
risks his life on the whim of some
drunken Idiot the moment he enters
a motor car. Now for a telephone." A
terse question to his man served to fix
"We're not far from the Chateau,"
Merklo interpreted the nnswer. "That
place 1b always open, so If you don't
mind tho wnlk we'll go nhend. It will
tfiko an hour to get one of my other
mnchlncB. but meanwhile wo can have
n blto to eat." At her cheerful accept
ance bis touo chnnged.
"You're all right. Some women
would bo hysterical after such a shake
up. I swear, I think I feel It more
thnn you. If yon were n man I'd llko
to have you for a chum."
Tho Chateau was n qunsl-roadhouse,
unsurpassed by any city resluurant,
and, being within nn hour's run by mo
tor, It received n liberal patronage.
Tips were large at tho Chateau; Its
hospitality was famous among those
who could afford the extravagance of
midnight entertainment; and yet it
wns a quiet place. No echo of what
occurred within Its wnlls ever reached
tho outside world. Sea-food, waflles,
and discretion were Its recognized spe
cialties, unQ people came for miles
mainly In pairs to enjoy them.
As the pedcstrlnns nenred tho nve-
aue of maples leading up to tho house
they espied In tho road nhcjnd of them
nr8t tho dull red glow of a tntl light,
then a dusty license plate,
"There's luck," Merkle ejaculated.
'I'll l,l,. ,. t.
A ,. It', It. 14IIS I'UL.
In tho gloom several figures Avere
standing, facing In tho direction of tho
Chntenu, und when Merklo spoke they
wheeled ns If startled.
"No, you can't hire this machine.
Wllut do you think this is, a cab
stand?" answered a gruff voice.
"Jim!" cried Lorelei, nnd run for
Her breathless umnzement at tho
meeting Avas no greater than her
brother's. "Sis! What the devil nro
you doing here?" he managed to sny
Ono of tho men who had been kneeling
over 11 case of some sort, dimly out
lined ln tho rndlauco of u sldo light.
rose nnd placed his burden lu tho ton-
"I'm ready," he announced.
Young Knight showed some nerv
ousncss nnd apprehension emotions
Avhlch his companions, Judging by
their nlcrt watchfulness, fully tdiurcd,
Jim seized his sister by tho arm and
led her nslde.
"How tho deuce dirt you get here
and Avho Is this guy?" Ho Jerked his
heart toward Mcrkle.
Lorelei Introduced hor companion
nnd iimilo known the cause of their
"Humph!" grnntcii Jim. "Whnt
d'yon suppose ma'll sny to this you
out till night with n man?"
"What aro you doing? Who are
those people?" sho retorted.
"Never mind. Hut sny I don't llko
Iho looks of this nffalr."
For a second tlmo Merkle nppoalert
to Jim. "If you can't tako your sister
homo I'll have to telephone for nnothcr
Jim's tone was disagreeable as he
replied. "You two don't look ns If
you'd been wrecked. Where's your
driver?" Merkle's Jlst clenched; he
muttered something, a which Jim
"Now don't got sore," said the bit
ter; "I'm not going to make trouble,
only I want to know whero you've
A bareheaded mnn camo running
across the lawn and flung himself Into
"Thoy Got Us Into a Private Room,
Then Took a Flashlight."
tho waiting automobile. One of Jim's
companions called his name sharply.
"Will you take me home?" his sis
"Can't do It. I'll sec you later, and
you, too, Merkle." His last Avords, de
livered as he swung himself upon the
running board of the car, sounded like'
a threat; a moment laterj and the ma
chine had disappeared into the night.
"Ilra-m! Your brother has a sus
picious mind," Merkle said. "I hope
he won't make you any trouble."
"He can't make trouble for inc."
Lorelei's emphasis on the last word
mnde her meaning clear; her compan
"Then there's no harm done, I as
They turned ln upon tho driveway,
Avalklng silently, then ns Uiey ncared
tho Chateau they became 'aware of an
unusual commotion In progress there.
Men were running from stable to gar
age, others Avere scouring the grounds;
from tho open door came r a voice
pitched high ln ungpr. The speaker
Avas evidently beside himself Avlth
Avrath. He Avas shouting orders to
scurrying attendants, and abusing the
manager, Avho hovered near him In a
frantic but futile effort at paclfien
tlon. The enraged person proved to be
Jnrvls Hainmon. He Avns hatlesa,
purple-faced, shaken with combative
fury. At first the two newcomers
thought he was dnngerously drunk,
but, as they mounted to the tiled ter
race which served as an outdoor eat
ing plnco they saw their mistake. Rec
ognizing Merkle, Ilnmmon's manner
"John!" he cried. "Ry God! you're
Just in time."
"Rlackiuall, or worse, I hardly know,
myself. Theno rutllnns put up some
thing on me they're all ln It, even the
The latter, a sleek Frenchmnn Avlth
ferocious mnstnehes and frightened
eyes, Avrung Us hands In supplication.
M'sleu "Amnion," he bleated, "you
ruin me. Siwh accusation Is terrible.
Rut wait. Calmness. The man avIII
Caught!" roared the steel magnate.
"Vnn l-nnn. ,!. t,n I.. nt.. 1.1... n
jL.jt nut.,, ivtii lie in. 1J mil, lu
me." A uniformed doorman appeared
with n smoking lantern ln his hand,
and Hnmmon wheeled upon him.
"Well? Did you Hurt hi in?"
"We can't find nobody. There Avas
a car outside the grounds, but It's gone
Merkle Interposed. "Will you tell
me what has happened V"
"It is terrible. Incredible, M'sleu,"
walled tho manager.
"Same old story, John. I came out
hero for a quiet supper with a lady.
I'vo been coming here regularly. They
got us Into n prlvato room, then took
u flashlight, nnd there you are. I
mnde u rush for the waiter as soon br
I realized what had occurred, but he'd
skipped. Everybody's skipped, pho
tographer and nil. Nobody knows any
thing. Rlamedest bunch of Idiots I
ever saw," He ground his teeth.
Lorelei, who had remnlncd In the
background, turned suddenly sick nt
memory of that mysterious party nt
the gato; she understood now the sig
nificance of the man with the box and
of the fleeing figure that hart como
through the darkness.
The terrified mnnager continued his
heartbroken lament, and Ilnmmon
seemed about to destroy him Avhen
Merkle drew tho latter aside, speaking
In an undertone.
Hnmmon listened bristly, then broke
"Nonsense. I'd stnk-j my llfo on her.
Why, she's prostrated. It's cither pure
blackmail, or it's" my Avife's Avork.
She's hud detectives on mo for somo
tlmo." Merkle murmured something
more. "Oh, como now I I know whnt.
I'm talking about, nnd I won't stand
for that," cried Hnmmon.
Mcrklc shrugged; his itext Avords
Avere nudlble, and they Avere' both
sharp und Incisive.
"The harm's done. They got uway
clean. Now we've got to kill the story
nnd kill It quick lu case they Intend
It for the papers."
"My Godl Newspapers at this
time," groaned tho other.. "It couldn't
"Right. We must move fast Is
your car here?"
"Get it. We'll go In with you. T
bad an accident to mine."
"You'll see for yourself you'ro
wrong about the , other." Hnmmon
Jerked his head meaningly toward tho
house, then strode away to order his
Merklo favored his young companion
with a Avlntry smile.
"It seems Ave're too late."
Lorelei nodded silently. "Don't tell
him who spoke to us out there. Not
yet, nt least. I can't see bhn go to
"Jail? There wont be any jail to
this there never Is. Jarvls avIII have
to settle for the .sake of the rest of
Hanjmon's limousine rolled ln under
the porte-cochere, and a moment later
tho owner appeared with Lllas.
Lorelei stared nt her friend In genu
ine surprise, for It wns obvious that
Lllas was deeply agituted. Her face
Avas swollen with weeping; she verged
upon hysterin. No sooner were the
four ln the car and under way than
she broke down, sobbing wretchedly.
"It's all my fault. I might Jiavo
known he was up to something; but I
didn't think he'd dare " she maiTngert
"He? Who?" Merklo asked her.
"Max Mclchcr. no as much as told
me. If I hadn't been, n fool I'd havo
guessed, but he Oh, I could kill
myself!" She burst into strangling
sobs nnd hysteric laughter.
"Why dirt you let him come to tho
dressing room?" Lorelei1 Inquired.
"He's been doing it for years. I've
always known him. Wo were en
gaged." Hnmmon verified this. "That's right.
They Avere engaged when I met her.
She didn't know the sort of rufllnn ho
is till I proved It. She's afraid of
him, and he knows It."
"I tried to brenk with him, but ho
Avouldn't let me, and Pve had to ba
nice to him. He'd havo murdered mo
"Rot!" Merklo exclaimed, testily.
"Rot, oh?" Jarvls answered. "He's
done ns much, more thnn once; but he's
so powerful that nobody can get him.
He's Uie king of bis Avard; he keeps
a gang of gunmen on the East side,
and he's Uie Avorst thug in the city."
' Hnmmon soothed his charmer in his
clumsy, elephantine way, showing
that, despite Merkle's recent Insinua
tions, he still trusted her. "This is the
only Avomnii who ever cared for mo,
John," be explained, ufter some hesi
tation, "and wo're . going to s.tlclc to
gether. We have no secrets."
"Your little Fifth avenue establish
ment rather complicates matters,
doesn't it? Whnt nre you going to do
nbout that?" Merkle Inquired.
"This thing tonight is likely to
settle the matter for me. You know
the kind of home life I've led for twen
ty yenrs, and you know I Avouldn't re
gret any change. When a man goes
ahead and his wife stands still tho
right nnd wrong of whnt cither chooses
to do is hard to settle. At any rate. it.
has ceased to concern me. I want a
few yenrs of happiness and compan
ionship boforo I die. I'm selfish I'll
pay the price."
They rode on In silence.
When Lorelei awoke on the roiloAT
Ing nftornoon her first inquiry was for
Jim; but he hnd not como home, nnd
her mother knew nothing of his where
abouts. Lorelei ate her breakfast ln
silence; then, in reply to n question,
accounted for the lateness of her ar
rival by saying that she had dined with
At tho name Mrs. Knight pricked up
her ears; sho undertook to pick out of
her daughter all that hart occurred,
down to the most Insignificant detail.
Lorelei had always made a confidante
of her mother in such cases; but this
time the latter's lnqulsltlveness grat
ed on her, nnd she nnswered the ques
tions put to her grudgingly. Sho could
not help likening her mother to n mag
pie, nlthough the thought shocked her.
! There was tho same sly nngle of coun
tenance, a similar furtlvencss of pur
pose; the very expression of Mrs.
Knight's keen, hard eyes wns llko
nothing so much ns that of the pry
ing bird's. Displeased at her own Irri
tation, Lorelei mndo tho excuse of a
shopping trip to escnpe from the houso.
At the nearest uews Btand flho
, bought the afternoon papers, and was
relieved to Hnd no mention of tho in
cidents of tho night beforo. It ap
peared that Hammon and Merkle hud
succeeded In their attempt to suppress
Uie story If, Indeed, there had ever
teen any Intention of making It public.
I Do you think that lyierkle has
19 iin in 1 n,,M .1 1 . .1
really wants to marry her?
? really wants to marry her? 2
(TO BE CONTINUED.)
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